Mutharika back: 'I am not dead, but I forgot my coffin'

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika returned home on Monday after a holiday in Hong Kong with his wife.

Mutharika’s trip ignited rumours of poor health. The speculation gathered pace when his spokesman Hetherwick Ntaba refused to disclose the location of the Head of State.

But the 78-year-old leader insisted he was in good health.

Thousands of ruling DPP supporters had gathered at Kamuzu Internatioal Airport in the capital Lilongwe to welcome their beloved leader.

Mutharika: I am not dead

Religious aide to the president, Reverend Billy Gama thanked  God for bringing back Mutharika  safely to Malawi. He asked God to forgive those that wished the President dead.

“Forgive them oh, Lord, for they know not what they were saying and doing,” Gama prayed.

As MBC TV presenter Tamara Chafunya introduced to the President  that journalists were around to ask questions, DPP functionaries booed defeaningly.

Mutharika started his address with his ruling DPP slogan: “DPP Woyeeee!”

The President, who was defiant , said he is as fit as a rail calling himself repeatedly that he was  “Chitsulo cha njanji”.

The DPP Youth Cadets  erupted into  chants of  “mumatinena kuti sitibwera, lero tabwera, mumva m’bebe’ (You claimed our beloved leader was missing here he is , you will feel the heat).

Mutharika and his wife Callista left the country in October for the Commonwealth Summit  (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia and then proceded to holiday in Hong Kong.

In his speech, Presidenr Mutharika justified his holiday.

“ I went to CHOGM, after that I decided to go for a holiday.  All leaders in the world go to holiday, last year, the whole of it  because of African Union chairmanship, I did not go for a holiday.

“I am entitled to 30 woking days holiday. I’ve only been there for only three weeks. Even a good car, Benz, Land Rover, rests. People must also rest,” said the Malawi leader.

He said there is no specific time for his holiday, saying he has worked for 26 years at the United Nations, six years at the Economic Commission for Africa, seven years at COMESA and two years at Economic Planning and Dvelopment ministry and as such he has vast experience to be aware that there is no specific time when to go for a holiday.

“As long as you are entitled to a holiday, you choose what time is suitable for you to go and rest,” Mutharika said a mid defeaning noise.

Commenting on the widespread rumours that he was receiving life-threatening treatment, Mutharika said: “As you know, some weeks ago, there were rumours that I am in a comma, then they said I am dead.

“I wanted to inform you that I am not dead, but I forgot my coffin when I was coming (at the airpot), may be it will be following me.”

He protested: “But what is the benefit in tranishing other people’s names, by spreading unsubstantiated rumours, my compatriots.”

Mutharika condemned reports about his ill-health and that to suggest that he was dead was even worse.

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